Customer Success Spotlight: OptionsSwing
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Meet OptionsSwing! OptionsSwing is making big waves in the options trading community right now, and is one of the finest financial educational communities currently available. The growing company offers 24/7 affordable trading-based educational resources, coaching, livestreams, a real-time alert system, investment strategies and much more to their subscribers. OptionsSwing has over 400k Instagram followers, a thriving discord community, and have recently expanded into the NFT and Web3 markets, meaning subscribers will have direct access to crypto and stock trading information and tools. We spoke to the company about their latest successes and struggles, how they set themselves apart from other financial competitors, and what inspired them to establish the trading community in the first place.
Give us the elevator pitch for your company.
OptionsSwing is the one-stop shop for everything a trader needs to generate an additional stream of income via the stock market. We have a Discord community with over 2000 members, enabling everyday people to invest in the stock market by providing education, coaching, real-time trading, and more. Additionally, we offer resources such as our very own order flow data bot with OS Flow, algorithmic trade call out with OS Algo, and a bank of self-paced learning courses with OS Academy.
What is your professional background?
OptionsSwing Inc was founded by Jason Lee (Forbes Next 1000 awardee) in 2019, where he grew this company to $1m+ revenue within the first 10 months of business. Jason then went off to found his second business in 2020, Ternary Developments Inc, which offers B2B SaaS applications for the Creator Economy to over 70+ businesses today. Prior to his entrepreneurial journey, he worked at Salesforce for almost seven years as an engineer supporting some of their largest retail customers.
What inspired you to start your company?
“The reason why I started OptionsSwing was that I truly believe that enduring multiple streams of income (MSOI) is incredibly important towards building financial freedom and strength. Additionally, with the post-pandemic boom in remote work, people now have new opportunities previously not possible while being inside an office. Our entire company dedicates ourselves to education and enablement while fostering a supportive and encouraging culture among like-minded people.” — Jason Lee, Founder & CEO
Jason, having been an employee of Salesforce ($CRM) for nearly seven years, had a passion for trading in his free time (especially towards his later years as a remote employee). As more of his friends wanted to learn, he went from texting a few people about the markets, to realizing that he would need to find a better outlet to educate everyone at once, which is when he had the idea to launch his Instagram page @OptionsSwing. Having both a passion for graphic design and trading, he created daily posts while building a steady following until enough people had asked for a server where everyone could chat and learn in real-time. This is what sparked the creation of his subscription-based Discord server.
What have been your biggest challenges, and what did you learn from them?
Last year taught us one of the most important lessons as a business: that we cannot rely on a single stream of revenue (e.g. monthly memberships) for the success of a business. This became apparent to us as we noticed that when the stock markets were doing well, our memberships were growing, but when the markets receded, so did our revenue. As it made it incredibly difficult to forecast our business, we immediately knew we needed to drive further strategies in order to create a long-term and sustainable business.
Thus, we developed and launched two new products: OS Flow and OS Academy. OS Flow is a fully licensed data stream in which we algorithmically identify real-time market data to spot trade opportunities. OS Academy (OSA), is a self-paced online learning platform with numerous trading-based courses that can fully enable a beginner trader to “graduate” to the intermediate level of self-sufficiency. OS Flow is now our second strongest revenue generator, and OSA, having just launched a few months back, already has over 350 active users today.
What have been your biggest successes?
Building my first business helped me find my true passion in life. Having realized how much working at Salesforce had changed my entire life for the better, I too wanted to “pay it forward” by someday building my own business that could employ smart and hard-working people to also change their lives.
While working at Salesforce, I had the difficult position of not only doing my “day job” to the best of my abilities but also actively trading (which can be a full-time job in itself) while spending my evening hours designing a new daily post for my social channel. As my IG channel reached 2,000+ followers in our second month, I started getting a lot of interest around people saying they would pay a subscription to “join my Discord server” (which we didn’t even have at that time), where they could “sign up to learn.” I realized that having 25 people paying $50/mo would easily bring in a great new stream of revenue for myself but with the current growth and interest I was seeing, I knew the opportunity could be far greater. While still working at Salesforce, my Co-Founder Jose Infante and I launched our private Discord server with a $50/month subscription cost. In our first weekend, we had more than 50 people sign up and by the end of our first month, we had over 300+ members subscribed.
Using this newfound revenue (and workload!), I quickly reinvested back into hiring employees ranging from the Discord server side (moderators, analysts, community engagement reps) and the Marketing side (graphic designers, content creators). By being able to delegate work that I was previously doing, I could refocus myself on new initiatives while being able to manage my workload at Salesforce. It then hit me that I was living my dream and passion of finding great people to employ and I could not be happier and more fulfilled.
By now having three revenue streams supplementing our business, this protects us during “slow” months. This entire experience also positively impacted many areas of our business including our employees (enabling them to learn project management skills, development, QA, and product release/marketing), our customers/community members (giving them more tools and resources to drive further value in our community), and our shareholders (as it now adds even more intellectual property to make us even more unique).
How do you set yourself apart from your competitors?
Growth, expansion into new markets, and setting ourselves apart from competitors are happening on many fronts within our company. From a social media aspect, we were able to see our largest year of growth on Instagram in which we now have ~450k followers and are blue check verified. We’ve also been increasing our footprint in Twitter and YouTube this year to continue expanding and attracting new audiences to our community and business. From a geographic aspect, our employees span from California to New York, we have four in Canada, and we focus on identifying and attracting the best talent. We believe in the power of remote work (especially work/life balance) and similar to our Customer Success model, we also know that by building an employee-centric atmosphere, they will in return be motivated to do their best work as they feel fulfilled by the work that they’re doing. Another thing that’s incredibly important to me is diversity, as everyone thinks differently and the best ideas come from collaboration. 10 of our 16 employees (full and part-time) identify as non-white ethnicities, and 45% of our employees are women (33% of our executive team is female). Being of Asian-American heritage, equity is something that is important to me and the culture I cultivate at my companies (including my second company Ternary Developments).
Personal finance and trading education are applicable in most major countries. With employees that are bilingual, we help people all over the world. Expansion into new markets included creating new educational resources around Cyptocurrency, NFTs, and Web3. In this “alternative” category compared to our traditional “stock market” education, we have over 55% of our community subscribed to this channel which shows a huge interest and market opportunity for us in the future.
Why did you choose to work with Intrinio?
Intrinio came very highly recommended within the industry. Not only were they directly recommended by OPRA as a trusted partner, but we also had a chance to connect and talk with Intrinio over our data streaming needs and whether or not we could build the tools we needed for OS Flow. The API documentation was very well laid out making it easy for our developers to build out our platform. We also had additional requests for data that weren’t available at the time but they were able to further develop their own platform (while keeping us informed with updates) to eventually support our needs. Although Intrinio has been around since 2010, I love that they are always growing and developing their platform further based on customers’ feedback and they really take the time to listen and help.
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